Faith, Hope

The Storm

Be of good cheer; for there shall be no loss of any man’s life.”

The Acts 27:22

Have you ever been in a great storm such as a Typhoon? A Typhoon is formed by a warm tropical water and hurricanes are form exactly the same way as a Typhoon. Both typhoon and hurricanes are tropical cyclones. The apostle Paul experienced a typhoon while sailing by Crete. The ship experienced a tempestuous wind called “Euroclydon,” a cyclonic North Easterly wind, which blows in the Mediterranean Sea. The ship that Paul traveled on was caught up in the storm under the lee of the island of Cauda, known as Gavdos, and is the most southernmost island in Greece today. They were tossed up and down and saw no sun or stars for many days, [see Acts 27:14-20]. Those aboard the ship feared for their life and thought the end was near. They had all lost hope. Can you imagine 14 days without seeing any form of light let alone going without food.

Yet, Paul exclaimed “be of good cheer, for no one will lose their life in this storm, only the loss of the ship.” Paul goes on to say that an angel of God stood by him whom he serves. Paul relayed the message of what he heard that they would not die but live through this storm. Be of good cheer, for I believe God, said Paul in verse 25 of chapter 27 of Acts. This was not a weak storm; it was a powerful storm that would have taken their life. I can remember my trip from Australia to the US on a cargo ship. We made sail from Perth, Western Australia and sailed up the western coast of Australia to Singapore and Malaysia. When we left Malaysia, the captain received word about a possible typhoon hitting Hong Kong. We hit rough seas and the waves poured over the sides as well as the bow and stern of the ship.

It was dark and those of us who were passengers stayed in their cabins in their bunks. You could not stand up without falling down. I got very sick and nauseated. We made it into Hong Kong harbor and anchored as the storm continued. I was told that the warning sirens had sounded out in the harbor, but I did not hear it from my cabin. All I heard was the waves crashing against the port window of the ship. The typhoon passed by the harbor out at sea, and we stayed secured in the harbor. My experience was small compared to what Paul experienced. Let us remember that there are angels who are charged to protect us. In the storm Paul said, “for there stood by me this night an angel of God,” [Acts 27:23]. An angel of God stood beside Paul. Angels are watching over those who are heirs of salvation. If you are a believer, you are one of the heirs of salvation, the children of God who are under the protection of God.

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

Psalms 91:10-12

We forget that God has his angels watching over us. Angels are ministering spirits send forth to minister to humans’ physical safety and well-being. They are there even though we do not see them. This past week I heard on the news about this woman who prayed during a tornado that was ripping through their home for God to save them from being killed, for they were in the house when the tornado hit their home. Their home was wrecked, but they were saved. We may experience a near death incident, but our God is keeping us safe in his hand. He is our shelter in the storm. We can learn from Paul’s experience and know that God is with us. When Paul landed in Malta, he said that the people in Malta were barbarous and showed no kindness. Today, for the most part it is said that they are hospitable people. When Paul was putting sticks on the fire a viper came out and fixed itself on Paul’s hand. The people of Malta thought that Paul was a murderer and was waiting for him to die. But no harm came to Paul from the bite of the venomous snake.

The Malta people changed their mind about Paul. The chief man of the island named Publius received Paul and gave him lodging for three days. The father of Publius was with fever and a bloody flux/bloody diarrhea known as dysentery. Paul visited Publius father and prayed and laid hands on him and He was healed, [see Acts 28:7-10]. When Paul had done this, others who had diseases came and were healed. One act of Paul visiting a sick man and praying led others to come and be healed. One act of faith can lead others to have faith in God. According to your faith, God will perform it. Read about the blind man in Matthew 9:29. This is faith by works as it was spoken of in James 2:18. James the brother of Jesus said, “O vain man, faith without works is dead?” We are to have a living faith that brings forth the healing hands of God the Father. Through the Father’s son Jesus Christ, who is the author, and the finisher of our faith, comes the power of God to move on our behalf. Our faith is built on Christ death and resurrection. We can act on faith in Christ and pray for healing and safety, for He is alive and waiting for us to ask in faith. Our faith is not dead, but alive in Christ. Stand firm in what you believe and act in faith like the apostle Paul. When you do, you will see miracles happen.